This is what happens when your old, deaf and blind dog wants to help you paint during your basement remodel. Poor Fran...
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Nothing like putting in a twelve hour day...on your day off. As noted earlier in the week, we decided to rehab the basement. We had Moose for about as long as we had finished the basement. As we reached the end of that chapter, we decided to start a new chapter with a fresh start. The basement has plagued me for years. When you have a house that is seventy five years old, it pains you to walk into your friend's new homes that have basements with nine foot ceilings. It is also frustrating dealing with walls that shows years of water damage. Fortunately, the water damage has been taken care of and only the scars are left behind.
Yes, in a house that is seventy five years old, you get six and a half foot ceilings and the kind of duct work that you see Bruce Willis crawling through in Die Hard. Although my vote was to tear out the entire thing, we opted on a half work over. I would tear out half of the drywall to remedy some electrical problems and leave the ceiling.
Work went fairly fast. Of course, on one of the nicest days of the year I am inside. Fortunately, or unfortunately as of a couple minutes ago (She is a little sore and tired now...), Zoe was outside staining the deck. I replaced some Durock that was damaged from the old wood floor in front of the bar, I raised all of the outlet boxes to their code specified height (BTW, narrow depth boxes are an incredible pain) and I repaired some of the old furring strips. I had forgotten, but nine years ago I used concrete nails to secure the strips. No wonder I have so many bad memories of that job. My hammer drill and some Tapcons made for quick work. Unfortunately, my hearing wasn't so lucky.
I ran new speaker cabling to be prepared for a 7.1 setup...if that ever happens and planning way ahead for a change, I ran more RG6 and Cat-5 from my wiring closet in the addition. I even included a pull wire in case I need to pull new wire in the future. I guess I have finally learned my lesson.
I was determined to hang some drywall tonight, but since it is already 8:30, Zoe has demanded that I stop. None the less, I will not stop tomorrow until the drywall is up and the first coat of mud.
When cold weather sets in, Weber's are known to huddle together in packs to stay warm. Notice how junior doesn't have a cover? He will not earn that privilege until he is at least 18 inches in diameter. I am sure that time will go by fast.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Loyal reader and resident king of free time, Jayme, sent in this picture of his latest work. Jamye painstakingly recreated Boba Fett's helmet and the results are impressive indeed. For the uninitiated, this is what we kids born in the early seventies do when we have money. I am proud.
Jamye states that outside of this posting here, the only thing that would make him happier would be to wear the helmet while cooking on my new grill. I will see what we can arrange bounty hunter...
Friday, April 13, 2007
With the sad passing of Moose, we have decided to throw ourselves into another home improvement project. Namely, redoing the basement...again. So, in order to make room for the demo, we had to move two of my most prized positions: my Sony GWII and the beer fridge. Since the TV needs some place safe to hang out in the next month, I figured what better place than the ManRoom. With the beer fridge safely around the corner, I told Zoe that if necessary, I could safely survive in the ManRoom for an extended amount of time. It is my very own fun shelter.
Now if I could only figure out how to play Guitar Hero II without Zoe's clients hearing it...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
After battling serveral months against an unknown illness and losing over 45 pounds, we had to put Moose to sleep tonight. Moose was eight years old and he has been a part of our family since he was a puppy. Over the last month, he looked nothing like the picture above. For a dog who was used to having his presence known, he spent many a day and night just sitting around. That was not the Moose we knew. Tonight, the house is a lot quieter. At least on this snowy and cold April night, we know that Moose has finally found relief from pain, peace and warmth. We will miss him dearly.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Here is the side burner. The only concern, which I have yet to verify, is that my wok is too big to fit on it. The lid sits awfully close to the burner. I try not to go wok crazy inside because of the smell. I am hoping that the side burner design works....because I want to wok crazy...outside!
Believe it or not, that was about it. The total assembly took a little under an hour and that was only because it was cold and I stopped every few minutes to take a picture. I probably spent more time peeling off the stainless steel protective film than actually assembling anything. The only tools needed were a Phillips head screwdriver and wrenches for the natural gas connection.
One of the reasons that I was really excited about the 2007 Weber Summit line was the elimination of those stupid large plastic wheels. The new 650 has a much smaller pair of nondescript wheels that function great and don't stand out. I could not stand to look at the older Summit's and have my eyes immediately drawn to the lawn mower tires that the grills rested on. This year, Weber has done it right.
Although the 650 comes with the handle mounted grill lights, I have yet to mount them. My Dad swears by them, but I am not so sure that I will. When it comes to night grilling, I have enough lumination in the grilling area to light a small town. I have to agree with Derrick Riches that they are a little gimmicky. Time will tell...
Although the grill is not in its final position, I had to fire it up and have its maiden ignition. I grasped the first burner knob and sswwwiiiissshhh. She lit. It was pretty amazing, in about 7 minutes, I was up to about 750 degrees. The old Broilmaster would top at around 450 and depending on the amount of charcoal, I would typically get direct high around 550. Over 700 is new territory. Now I am really excited.
With the sun and the temperature both down, I threw my first bone-in rib eye onto the virgin grates. The results were delicious. Historically, I always turned towards gas for when I was pressed for time or in need of additional grilling real estate. Now I see the Summit being used much more often.
I would say that Weber has knocked this one out of the park. I truly respect the Weber name and know that I am not just buying a grill with a corporate name stuck on it. I am buying a little bit of the heart and soul of the company. Yes, I am a Weber Fanboy and why not? I have yet to be disappointed or let down.
With snow in the air, I hope that the weather warms soon so that this new grill cannot only be a stage for great food, but also the backdrop for many a summer night.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Anyways, let's get to it:
OK...another note. Although I am dressed in a sensible pair of jeans and a pullover, I was actually underdressed for the weather. Although it was 80 degrees two days ago, it was 36 and snowing today. Oh how I love Midwest weather. Needless to say, the cold weather didn't keep me away. Zoe on the other hand....after about a million eye rolls at my adolescent zeal, took shelter in the warmth of the house and allowed me to continue my exploits in the cold. She says, it is because she is not stupid. I happen to just think that her priorities are sorely misaligned.
Snip...we are in!
OK, at this point, Zoe exclaims, "It's White!?!" No, not to worry. It is just the film that protects the stainless steel. Although, white does not look too bad.
Wait a tick! Is that a warning label? Although there were no words, I could tell from the picture of the two strapping men lifting the grill and their smaller, weaker friend removing the light plastic bottom, that I would not be following the exact directions as shipped from the manufacturer. I was also confused by the label because on one side there were three men and on the other, three unics. When Zoe was not looking, I thought about adding long hair and shortening the height of one of the strapping men to resemble her, but she never looked away long enough. So, in flagrant disregard of the warning and without the back support belts I am sure those guy's were wearing, I recruited Zoe into lifting...well, it was more like pivoting. I did the lifting. (Side note: if I had two have two friends over to help, I would have Lewis pull the bottom plastic piece out. He's used to being on his knees.)
The top of the box lifts off and for transport, the grill is resting on a plastic tray. You cannot simply "roll" the grill off the tray. At first I cut slits in the side of the tray to "roll it off", but because the wheels were held slightly above the bottom of the tray, this did not work. So, since my trio of friends were unavailable, we did the old pivot and kick.
Oh wait...does the circle with the line through it mean "Great Idea" or "Try with possibility of death"...I think the former, because it worked great!
With the grill safely on Terra Firma, I went about the rest of the assembly. As always, Weber provided easy to follow instructions. One of the wonderful features of this grill is that almost the entire unit is welded together. I used a total of seven screws to attach the side table, side burner and the drip pan. The construction was flawless.
The grates and bars were shipped underneath the grill:
Here are the burners:
Here are the Flavorizer Bars:
Here is the smoker box. I must say, that I will have to get used to using...or even trying to use the Summit for smoking. When it comes to pork shoulders or brisket, I always go to the kettle. However, with its dedicated burner for smoking, I know this is a feature that I will explore.
The side burner and side table were stored inside the cabinet:Weber's design made it easy to even install the warming rack. The sides of the rack are tapered so that it can only fit in one way, even though its look gives the appearance that it can go one of two ways. (Funny how Lewis keeps coming into this...)
Here is the side burner and the side table:
Here is an example of some of the weld work on the side table:
Here is the gas connection underneath the side burner:
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yup, you are looking at 838 square inches of 60,000 BTU fun loving grill. Before, I was landing my steaks on a tug boat. Now, I am landing a fleet of steaks on an aircraft carrier. Now, it is not as big as Mike's Grand Hall he bought last year, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Because this is a once in a decade event...well it's a Weber, it might really be a once every two decades event...I am going to blog the entire un-boxing. What will begin with the delivery of a box will end with a beer and an incredible feast!